The new coronavirus outbreak in China’s capital Beijing arouses serious concerns, the head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, Michael Ryan, told reporters.
"Beijing is a large city and a very dynamic and connected city, so there is always a concern," he said. "And I think you can see that level of concern in the response of the Chinese authorities, so we are tracking that very closely."
"A cluster like this is a concern and it needs to be investigated and controlled—and that is exactly what the Chinese authorities are doing," Ryan noted.
The World Health Organization has offered assistance and support to the Chinese authorities carrying out the probe, and may reinforce its own team in Beijing in the coming days, he said.
A coronavirus infection outbreak was reported from Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale market in the south of the city. Most of those infected are the market’s tenants and their close contacts. The city administration had to close some other major commercial facilities, including in the west of the capital city, since they were in a high-risk zone. Measures of control were tightened in certain Beijing’s neighborhoods due to that, TASS reports.
City authorities said the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the city was high and imposed wartime measures in the city’s dwelling quarters.
The administration ordered to test some 10,000 Xinfadi workers and also those who visited the market after May 30 as well as residents of nearby houses. Some 200,000 people will be tested for the coronavirus.
During the pandemic, 673 COVID-19 cases were recorded in the city, and 584 of them recovered and nine died.